Design Guidelines Coming for The UX experience…

I found this via Bill Baldasti


I’m fascinated by design guidelines. They are intended to ensure that your user has a good and consistent experience with the rest of the applications on the given platform.

For example, the Designed for Windows for Pocket PC for Software Applications guidelines, which you have to follow to be Pocket PC Logo Certified, specify that you cannot have an exit button but must smart minimize nicely and that your application must come back to the exact same state when it’s reopened.

There is also a set Guidelines for User Interface for Developers and Designers that Microsoft has been pushing for a long time.

Even thought it’s a ways from releasing, Microsoft is already starting to build and promote the Windows Vista UX Guidelines. Being fascinated, I downloaded the guidelines. It came down as a 14 meg zip file that unzipped into 825 files. Wow!

It’s going to take some time to dig into this and really digest it. The good news is that they broke it down to a simple top 12 rules list. I’m not going to re-list those here, you can go read them on your own. However, some of these things should apply right now in your current work, like #10 which is clean up the UI including make sure that you use labels, organizing your menus and the like in a task oriented manner and so on. Or like #12 which is reserve time for development time for “fit and finish” work. That’s just good common sense that we should all be following.

Of course, now that you’re all excited about the glass aspects of Vista, they say that you should only use it “judiciously”.


It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with the guidelines and the UX experience. Personally, I’m excited by it all. I’m ready to start looking at the Ribbon control in Office 12.

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